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Semin Nephrol. 1997 May;17(3):196-213.

The hemodialysis membranes: a historical perspective, current state and future prospect.

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Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.


Transport and biocompatibility characteristics are two important considerations when choosing hemodialysis membranes. Dialyzer performance depends on clearances of small solutes, middle molecules, and oncotically active proteins. Although complement and neutrophil activation have become the gold standards for biocompatibility testing of dialysis membranes, alterations of other cellular and noncellular blood elements as a result of blood-membrane interactions are also important. Because of concerns about middle molecule transport and biocompatibility, the original cellophane membrane has been gradually replaced by modified cellulosic membranes and synthetic membranes for clinical use. Recent studies suggest that the choice of dialysis membrane influences the clinical outcome of patients in several areas, including intradialytic acute anaphylactoid reactions, beta 2-microglobulin associated amyloidosis, recovery from acute renal failure, and mortality of chronic hemodialysis patients. However, the relative contributions of middle molecule transport, biocompatibility, and other factors in determining these differences in outcome are unclear. Future development of hemodialysis membranes should focus on improving biocompatibility and enhancing clearances of small solutes and middle molecules, while minimizing the loss of larger plasma proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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